Dreaming of a more leisurely, escape-worthy backyard? For many, that dream includes a swimming pool — either above-ground or in-ground — or a hot tub. Plenty of American homeowners already live that dream every day: There are approximately 10 million swimming pools in the country, according to the National Swimming Pool Foundation, and about 7 million hot tubs. (Those statistics don’t include the number of portable pools.)
Swimming pools come with risks. Seventy-four percent of drowning deaths of children younger than 15 occur at a home, and it’s estimated that a child dies every five days in a portable pool in the United States. That’s why any pool — portable, above-ground, in-ground — should be installed and used in tandem with physical safety elements such as a pool safety fence and educational safety elements like safer swimming practices, including lessons for everyone and CPR training.
One step that you can take if you have a more permanent structure is to schedule annual maintenance on your swimming pool. Have a professional inspect the pool, drain covers and any other nearby hazards. Then make sure family and friends that use the pool understand where the pool safety equipment is located and what safety requirements you have for swimming, such as providing adult supervision at all times for children. Many pool accidents occur when adults momentarily step away from the pool area leaving a child unattended.
Need a refresher? Check out the pool safety tips and to-do’s in this graphic.